John Mulaney’s return to Saturday Night Live meant a chance for a great monologue, and the former head writer on the show didn’t disappoint on that front. But one of the sketches many asked for was a reprisal of Mulaney’s infamous Diner Lobster sketch, in which everyone in a diner played out a Les Miserables-themed sketch when Pete Davidson ordered the lobster special in a greek diner.
In 2019, Bodega Bathroom was the spiritual successor to the Diner Lobster sketch, but 2020’s Mulaney hosting gig featured a return to wildly bad food ideas. But what started as a sketch about buying airport sushi quickly morphed into much more, as an all-star cast turned the sketch into an unhinged airport musical. The setup here was the same, some jokes about the location — LaGuardia airport in New York — before Pete Davidson makes a bad decision and says he wants to eat the spicy tuna roll that’s been sitting out for who knows how long. Dramatic music plays and the clerk, played by Mulaney, tries to talk him out of it.
What follows is completely unhinged, with Broadway musical numbers parodying a number of shows, starting with the “Phantom of LaGuardia,” played by Keenan Thompson, a goose that took down Sully Sullenberger’s Flight 1549.
Cecily Strong, who also performed in the other two sketches, came out and sang as the sushi chef who prepared the meal. There are some fantastic LaGuardia jokes in the sketch, such as that everyone is going to Cleveland, “whether they like it or not.” Little Orphan Auntie Annie (Kate McKinnon) sang a song, as did a crying baby about to board a trans-continental flight. Jake Gyllenhaal also showed up as Guy Who Travels In Pajamas.
“I dress so that TSA can have easy access to my body,” he said before flying on wires around the terminal. The night’s musical guest, David Byrne, came out as an airport employee as well and sang a few bars.
The whole thing was completely insane, which is what fans of the sketch were looking for. There should be a Diner Lobster sketch every time Mulaney hosts, which at this pace is about once a year so expect something about Penn Station poke bowls sometime in early 2021.